Negotiating a Settlement in a Medical Malpractice Case

June 30, 2023

The ideal outcome in most medical malpractice cases is an out-of-court settlement that justly compensates the injured patient. However, negotiating a fair medical malpractice settlement can be tough. If you've been injured by a medical practitioner in the Charm City, you'll need a skillful and experienced medical malpractice attorney in Baltimore fighting your corner.

Negotiating a Settlement in a Medical Malpractice Case

When you file a medical malpractice claim, your attorney will enter a period of negotiation with the healthcare provider's insurance company. During negotiations, you'll need to prove three key things: the doctor acted with negligence, the doctor's negligence caused your injury, and your damages are worth as much as you claim.

The more firmly your attorney can prove these three factors, the better your negotiations will go. But this process is often easier said than done. Each of these three elements poses its own challenges that will often require a mountain of evidence to overcome.

Proving the Healthcare Practitioner's Negligence

One of the hardest aspects of any medical malpractice claim is proving negligence. Medical negligence means the doctor failed in their duty of care toward you: they didn't provide the expected degree of care and skill that another doctor would have provided under the same conditions.

But when an adverse event occurs during medical treatment, it's not always a result of negligence. Medical care always entails a degree of risk and uncertainty. Unexpected medical injuries can happen even when the doctor acts with all due care and skill. This is what the doctor and their insurer will typically argue to dispute liability for the patient's injuries.

Establishing Exactly What Happened

Modern medicine is often highly specialized, involving complex processes that are difficult for the average layman to understand. When a medical procedure goes awry, distinguishing negligence from an unavoidable stroke of misfortune usually requires an experienced medical malpractice attorney with the help of consulting expert medical witnesses.

Once your attorney has determined that medical negligence was a factor, they can begin working to prove it. The insurance provider will only accept the liability of their policyholder if you present them with evidence strong enough to persuade a jury.

Evidence Used To Prove Negligence

The evidence your attorney gathers may include medical records, doctor's notes, laboratory results, hospital records, hospital discharge summaries, communications between nurses and doctors, and photographic and video evidence. You might also use records from the doctor's prior patients, hospital regulations regarding this type of treatment, industry procedures and protocols, and broader statistical data regarding expected treatment outcomes.

Witness statements are often important in medical malpractice cases. Anyone present for parts of the procedure might testify about mistakes witnessed. Expert medical witnesses also play a crucial role. Medical practitioner expert witnesses with a similar specialization to the negligent doctor may be able to explain what occurred and how the doctor breached their duty of care toward you.

Proving the Doctor's Negligence Caused Your Injury

Even if negligence is proven, the negligent doctor may still deny liability for your injury and damages on the grounds that your injury was pre-existing or caused elsewhere. At the very least, they may argue the existence of several contributing factors to your injury. In order to negotiate effectively, you must therefore also gather evidence to prove the direct causal link between the doctor's actions and your unexpected injury or illness.

Proving the Full Value of Your Damages

While preparing your claim, your attorney will establish all the damages you have a right to recover. Your damages may include past and future medical expenses, past and future lost income, pain and suffering, emotional suffering, impairment, disability, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment in daily activities, and more.

When robust evidence forces the insurer to accept that negligence occurred and caused your injuries, they may still dispute the value of your damages. This is often a key area of contention during negotiations. Once again, the key to successfully proving your damages is evidence, and lots of it.

Choosing a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Baltimore

Of all the many kinds of personal injury claims, medical malpractice is the hardest to prove and negotiate. Therefore, the optimal time to speak to an attorney is almost always before you approach the insurance company to file your claim. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you fully understand your legal rights, your damages, and your best course of action.

Your attorney can carefully investigate the accident and gather enough evidence to thoroughly prove each element of your claim. They can then negotiate skillfully and strategically with the insurer to gain you the best possible settlement. To understand more about how a seasoned attorney in Baltimore can help you recover a fair settlement, visit this page.

Negotiating medical malpractice settlements can be a tricky business, but with the right legal representation, your chances of success are greatly increased. Once negligence, causation, and your damages are proven, you're in a much stronger position from which to pursue the full compensation you deserve.

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Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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